I need to replace the halon extinguishers in a 435 Princess. There doesn't seem to be much information on the internet on various options other than dry powder is a bad idea (horrible mess and damages the engines - annoying if it goes off by accident!).
I have seen the Stat X solid aerosol recommended in one of the boat magazines and spoke to someone about it at the boat show. He indicated that a system for around 10 cu M would be around £1,800 incl fitting and vat (around £500 for the extinguisher, £500 for the alarm / contoller / sensors and £500 fitting). This would give a system which would be automatic when not on board, but would set off an alarm when at sea with a manual firing option (i.e. allowing you to shut down the engines and bilge fan when safe to do so and to stop the gas being sucked through the engines). The extinguisher is an aerosol type with a 10 year service life and there is a certain logic to setting it up in the way described. The Stat X website in the States appears to only show the extinguisher units themselves rather than the heat sensors / controllers / alarms - so these are presumably from another supplier but I can find no information on such things on the internet.
A cheaper (simpler, but probably more compromised) route would seem to be a 6KG Fireblitz FBA G6 Clean Agent Gas extinguisher which I could buy for around £400 and fit myself. The service life is around 5 years, but it would be temperature activated and would be ineffective if the engines are not shut down before it activates (which is quite likely in reality). In principle of operation it is similar to the two (banned) halon extinguishers currently mounted over the engines, but would in theory be more effective as it is a single extinguisher - so should deliver the full volume gas in one go (as opposed to one going off, being ineffective as insufficient gas to flood the engine bay and then the second going off when the fire reignites and suffering the same problem).
I'm surprised that there is so little information available on systems and options as this must be an area of high turnover (lots of boats and extinguishers with relatively short service lives). Any thoughts, recommendations or references to useful articles would be much appreciated as the Fireblitz option doesn't really sound the way to go (although presumably they sell alot of them).
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Thread: Engine Room Fire Extinguishers
20-01-11, 21:15 #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
Engine Room Fire Extinguishers
20-01-11, 21:26 #2
any system with powder will corrosively affect electronics and some plastics.
Systems used in large-scale computer rooms are comprehensively covered in this doc:-
My preference would be to use CO2, as it will prevent the engines working PDQ if you don't have an auto shut-off.
CO2 has some hazards if you in a closed room when the gas goes off, but it is otherwise the least damaging extinguishant at the early stages of a fire. If you have a fire that is well under way, then you need something to cool the material, as well as fight the flames and that's AFFF. These are not suitable for use on fires involving live electrical equipment but may be used on 12/24 volt electrics.I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail.
20-01-11, 21:27 #3
Looked into this myself a while back... Worth giving the same guys a call... end price less than 1/4 of official quotation...
I've stopped drinking water .... I have seen what it does to the bottom of our boat!
"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."
20-01-11, 21:40 #4
I would definately take a look at Sea-Fire, they are the leading replacement for older Halon systems and use the clean agent FM200 waterless system. It is available from hand held portable extinguishers to fully automatic plumbed systems.
Good luck with the changeover.
Last edited by MYAG; 20-01-11 at 23:05.
20-01-11, 21:49 #5
I fit a lot of seafire and they are usually good,
My favourite system is the firetrace as you install the tube all round the engine room and cable ducts and will extinguish in the correct area of fire, and these do work quickly.
20-01-11, 22:28 #6
The wireing was a challenge and so I contacted Malcolm at Seafire UK.
His support was second to none - I was able to talk directly to his engineer who helped me resolve and retest the system afterwards.
Excellent service - give them a call.
20-01-11, 22:54 #7
.... another vote for Sea-Fire .. good product and as mentioned TOP people to deal with - nothing too much trouble. I also replaced a Halon system in a 14m3 engine room, with a Sea-Fire cylinder and I am very pleased with the result.
Here's hoping we never have to use them ..... !
21-01-11, 06:50 #8
I still have two halon handhelds aboard, but changed my two? engine room halons to one much larger FM2000 one, good price and again hope I never have to use them.
I will keep my halons.
By the way, when I removed the halons from the engine room, I found one empty! and I had checked it not six months before! Other one was fine, disposed of it through the marina.
20-01-11, 22:16 #9Registered User
Location : living in cheshire, boat in Anglesey
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
11-02-11, 23:45 #10Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
Many thanks for all the advice, this gives me a few more people to talk to before making a decision. The main reason for the change is not just that they are illegal, but it seems the insurance is also invalid if they are not changed.